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Hiking in Southern Utah: Pine Park – The Independent

Pictures of Don Gilman

Hiking in Southern Utah: Pine Park

Trail name: South Boundary Trail (Lower Parts)
Location: West of Enterprise near the Nevada border
Difficulty: Easy (unless doing the full trail – not recommended)
Length: 1/4–1/2 mile
Elevation gain: Minimal
Average time: 1 to 2 hours
Friendly and family: Yes
Accept dogs: Yes

Hiking in Southern Utah Pine ParkPine Park is a long-forgotten wonderland of white volcanic pinnacles and cones (very reminiscent of the fairy towers of Cappadocia, Turkey) set in true wilderness west of Enterprise. Although this hike is far from civilization, it is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. The trail listed here is the South Boundary trail, but the recommendation is to just explore the lower parts of the trail around the “park” itself. This is not a park in the true sense of the term. There are a few picnic benches scattered around the parking lot and a few spots for tent camping, but that’s about it. Even though Pine Park itself is only about 20 miles from Enterprise, it’s a remote location. Be sure to let someone know where you are going and that your vehicle is in good working order and has at least one working spare tire.

Hiking in Southern Utah Pine ParkTo access: To get to Pine Park, travel approximately 38 miles north from the junction of Bluff Street and St. George Boulevard to the “T” junction at Enterprise. Turn left onto State Route 219 (Main Street) and drive west approximately 16 miles, continuing as the road becomes Crestline Road. Turn left onto Forest Road 001 (White Rocks Road) and travel 9.5 miles to the park. Just before reaching the parking lot, notice a spectacular viewpoint of conical peaks – you will come back to this place. The last 100 meters or so are difficult but still passable for a passenger car. Note that you will pass the upper trailhead for the South Boundary trailhead. Ignore this and continue to the parking lot. The South Boundary trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.

Before you hit the trail, take some time to explore the rocks and boulders around the parking lot. There are plenty of spots to explore in the surrounding area, and young climbers will delight in the easily accessible rock formations. Just keep an eye out for them, as some of these rocks are high enough to be dangerous.

After exploring here, head north on the trail, again taking time to walk around and explore the many rock formations that dot the area. In particular, there is a rock near the trail that has a unique chimney Hiking in Southern Utah Pine Parkshape and some fun pockets to explore. It’s a place to take your time and walk around and explore. The trail itself is indistinct in some places and trees have fallen over it in others. After a short distance, the trail fades into a boggy area, and although it can be picked up again, it’s hardly worth the effort beyond this point.

When you’re done exploring the area, return to the car and return to the viewpoint you passed along the way. Park on the side of the road and look for a way down into the bowl below. It can be steep so be careful on the descent. In many ways, this is the most impressive section of Pine Park. The hoodoos, which were visible from the trail, are much more spectacular here, soaring several hundred feet above the bowl. The tall ponderosa pines are completely overshadowed by the rocks here. This particular place is awe-inspiring and spectacular: a place to explore, a place to contemplate the forces of nature and the rugged beauty of Utah. When done, head back up the road.

Hiking in Southern Utah Pine ParkIf you are interested in doing the longer version of the South Boundary Trail, the ideal way to hike it is by car shuttle, parking one vehicle at the upper trailhead and another at Pine Park itself. Doing it this way makes for a three mile hike with just over 600 feet of elevation loss. Of course, if you choose to use one vehicle, the round trip becomes six miles with 600 feet of loss and gain.

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